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OFW remittances hit US$1.7 Billion in August

altMANILA—Remittances from overseas Filipino workers coursed through banks grew by a double-digit rate for the first time in August, latest data from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas showed.

The BSP said that remittances reached $1.7 billion in August, or a year-on-year expansion of 11 percent, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando M. Tetangco Jr. announced.

For the first eight months of the year, cumulative remittances rose by almost 7 percent to $13 billion, with remittances from land-based and sea-based workers growing by 5 percent and 14.4 percent, respectively.

For the eight-month period, the top ten country sources of remittances included the U.S., Canada, Saudi Arabia, U.K., Japan, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Italy, Germany and Norway. Combined flows from these countries represented 85 percent of total remittances reported by banks.

“Notwithstanding lingering global economic uncertainties, the cumulative stream of remittances from overseas Filipinos continued to be solid and resilient, supported by the sustained demand for Filipino skills abroad,” the BSP said in a statement.

“The growing number of alternative remittance services offered by banks and financial institutions also encouraged OFs and their beneficiaries to use the formal channels for their fund transfers.”

Stable employment prospects for overseas Filipino workers were indicated in data obtained from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

During January 1 to September 30, 2011, the number of processed job orders totaled 193,176, or an 8.6 percent increment over the total processed job orders (177,936) in the same period last year. The processed job orders are mainly intended for employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Taiwan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Hong Kong, among others. The POEA also reported that another batch of licensed Filipino nurses and caregivers are expected to be deployed in Japan next year, as part of the continuing hiring program under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

Meanwhile, commercial banks’ continuing aggressive efforts to build up their network of remittance business partners worldwide have contributed in the country’s larger share of the global remittance market. Partnerships have been strengthened with correspondent banks and with other remittance companies abroad.

“Going forward, the remittance outlook for the remaining months of the year remains favorable as government redeployment strategies are in place to help Filipino workers affected by the social unrest in the Middle East and North Africa region,” the BSP said. (OFW Journalism Consortium)

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